First thing’s first: Growing older is a privilege.
Let’s never forget that. Every morning we wake up and get to feel the sunshine on our faces and laugh out loud and hug the people we love is a blessing and gift, and so I hate the term anti-ageing with a passion – I do not want to anti-age, I want to age and age and age – for as long as possible.
But – here’s the thing – just because ageing is inevitable, that does not mean that we can’t put some effort into looking our best, most glowing selves too.
And this is where your skincare regime comes in. Because even though you feel like you have a good skincare routine going, the reality is that your skin changes over time, and after 40, your skin has completely different needs to those of your twenty-something self.
Skincare in your 40s requires some fresh new formulas and techniques, and having spoken to countless skincare professionals, dermatologists and estheticians, here are some important pointers everyone should know about when it comes to looking after your skin in your fabulous 40s.
Keeping your skin plump and hydrated
At this stage in your life, it’s time to shift focus towards promoting collagen and elastin – the duo of proteins that keep your complexion plump. The reality is that production of both slows from our mid-twenties – and so now is the time to go hardcore on reigniting them.
I am a big believer in taking a from-the-inside-out approach to skincare – knowing that what you put on your skin matters very little if you are not also taking care when it comes to what you eating to nourish your skin from the inside.
Eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, nuts, legumes, healthy fats and lots of lots of colour and vibrancy will make sure your skin is taken care of, and will also help protect against free radicals, give hydration and strengthen the skin’s barrier – all of which are important.
I have also started taking some collagen supplements to really give my skin a boost when it comes to plumpness, and love these Absolute Collagen ones from Maxine Laceby. These high-quality collage drinks contain the highest concentration of hydrolyzed marine collagen in the smallest dose, and I found they have really made a difference to my skin.
Acid to brighten
As we age, our skin tone can get more dull and uneven, with many having some sun damage. Other things that can leave skin with discolouration is pregnancy, or even the use of certain medications. These are all things that can be tackled with the right skincare products.
Salicylic and Glycolic acids are two other ingredients to look out for in your skincare products, as these will help brighten your skin tone and renew dull, uneven skin, as well as help remove buildup caused by environmental factors.
Opting for a cleanser and toner that contain these two is a great way to incorporate these ingredients into your routine.
I love Dermalogica’s Daily Glycolic Cleanser, it really leaves my face super-clean, but without making it feel dry and stripped of moisture.
A great toner to use with it is The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid Toning Solution, a bargain buy with major cult status – for good reason.
Serums are super-heroes
Vitamin C has become one of those hero skincare ingredients you hear about everywhere, and for good reason. This antioxidant is an exceptional ingredient for helping add a more youthful to more mature skin, and you will see the benefits fast when you start using it.
Boosting radiance, helping with collagen production and neutralising the effects of pollution, I love adding a serum containing Vitamin C to my skincare regime now, and one of my very favourite products is the Image MD Clinical Skincare Restoring Power C Serum.
A mother really great Vitamin C product is the Vitamin C Booster Treatment from Trilogy – a freshly activated two-week intense brightening treatment that helps improve radiance and skin tone.
Serums are a great way to really boost your skincare in your 40s and there are many great ones to choose from, all depending on your main skincare concerns and your skin type.
During your 40s, your skin produces less sebum, exposing you to environmental aggressors, like pollution, so you need to add an antioxidant-rich serum to your skincare ritual, to help fight free radicals.
Look for serums rich in collagen-boosting peptides, which act as building blocks for new collagen formation and stimulate fibroblast activity.
I love the new Skin Veg Hydrating + Brightening Pre-Serum from Skingredients, a real skin super-juice of hyaluronic acid, PHA, fruit and vegetables and botanical extracts.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Skin that is ageing needs more hydration than ever, and the most important thing you can do is stay hydrated by making sure you are drinking enough water.
When it comes to how to keep your skin hydrated from the outside, oils and concentrated serums and masks are your best bet, and some key ingredients to look out for is hyaluronic acid and
I love La Roche-Posay’s Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum, and use it every morning under my moisturiser and SPF.
Oils are another hero product that once you have tried them, you simply will not one to live without them in your daily skincare regime – especially once you have entered your 40s.
I apply a face oil after my serum both AM and PM now, and alternate between a couple of products that I love. Applying your face oil is also the perfect time to give yourself a little face massage, either with your fingers or with a face roller or gua sha tool, as this will help drain lymph fluid build-up and stimulate collagen production, keeping skin more plump and firm.
The Aliso Super-Charged Face Oil is a fresh a nd dewy lightweight oil specifically formulated to help give dry, dull, & tired skin the burst of flowing vitality it needs.
I also love Charlotte Tilbury’s Collagen Superfusion Facial Oil, a cult-status oil that will nourish, firm and brighten your complexion. thanks to a supercharged vitamin-rich formula.
After applying your serum and your oil, a great nourishing face cream is a must as part of your skincare regime, and I would highly recommend – as would every skincare expert out there – that you opt for one with a built-in SPF of at least 30, ideally SPF50.
Nothing prematurely ages the skin like the sun, and so we need to protect it every day – winter as well as summer, and on cloudy days as much as on brighter ones.
And when you are applying this, make sure you don’t skip on your neck and chest, apply every layer there too it’s worth it in the long run.
I love the new Age Perfect Cell Renew Day Cream from Loreal, with new technology that promotes cell recovery and works a charm to firm up skin that has started to look less defined.
Another great day cream choice of 40s skin is Avene’s Antirougeurs Day Cream SPF30, a really great buy if you have sensitive skin in any way.
Off to bed
Once you hit 40, a night cream should really be part of your skincare regime, and the reason for this is that your skin renews itself when you sleep – meaning this is the best time to really make an impact when it comes to products that penetate deep into your skin.
There are many great ones to pick from, but right now, I am obsessed with Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Omega-Rich Cloud Cream. The whipped, cloud-like texture delivers plumping hydration, summoning a smooth and radiant appearance as I sleep – so win-win.
Another great choice is the Relax and Renew Night Cream by Irish company Ella & Jo.
This cream not only smells amazing, but is also one of the first products in Ireland to use Bakuchiol – a natural vitamin A that works as efficiently as a retinol but without the risk of skin irritation.